Ecosurety funded mobile e-waste project releases blueprint impact report

Ecosurety's Exploration Fund initiative, Fixy, has published its 2023 Impact Report, outlining the project's success in Somerset and how the initiative could continue to develop in new areas.

Fixy, a mobile project raising awareness of repair and reuse of electricals across Somerset, is a partnership project between environmental consultancy Resource Futures, the Somerset Council, and local Community Interest Company, Donate IT. Ecosurety funded the project as part of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund.

Fixy recently travelled around Somerset in a vibrantly branded van, providing residents with knowledge and tools to help them manage their electricals more sustainably.

From 'niche to norm'

In 2019, the world generated 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste – appliances, mobile phones, laptops, and the like; with 1.6 million tonnes of this arising from the United Kingdom (The Global E-waste Monitor 2020).

Through its pilot scheme, Fixy addressed a range of barriers that limited the mainstream repair and reuse of electrical items, including perceived complexity and lower confidence levels, the cost of spare parts and repair services, and concerns about data confidentiality and security. The scheme also attended and hosted events to raise public awareness of repair and reuse opportunities and supports local repair groups through publicity and sourcing new volunteers.

Sarah Hargreaves, Behaviour Change Lead at Resource Futures, said: “Fixy provides an ideal tool to start new conversations and has proved itself capable of achieving high level impact in raising repair and reuse knowledge across a range of audiences. The Fixy Impact Report communicates set up details and best practice concepts and includes tips for projects with low or no budget availability. By sharing insights, the Fixy project aims to make the repair and reuse of electricals more accessible and take it from ‘niche to norm".

Promising results

Results from the Fixy pilot scheme, which ran from May to December 2022, showed promising outcomes. The number of repair groups in Somerset increased by 19%, with other areas showing interest.

Fixy spoke to nearly 2,800 people across 81 events, with 83 percent saying they felt ‘very or quite committed’ to repair activities going forwards since encountering Fixy.

68 percent said they were ‘more likely’ to buy refurbished or second-hand items, and 61 percent said they ‘felt better informed’ about where and how to get items repaired.

The Fixy van also collects unwanted smart tech and during the pilot period, aided the donation of 1,433 items of smart tech weighing 3,665kg.

2022-23 impact report released

The Fixy project’s 2022-23 Impact Report shares results from its pilot and includes set-up details, project costs, learnings, and best practice concepts. The report includes tips for those with lower or no budget availability, in the hope that the Fixy pilot will help others develop and enhance electrical repair and reuse initiatives in new areas.

Alongside its core work of raising awareness, supporting repair groups, and running technology amnesties, Fixy is now looking to pilot new initiatives to build continued learning. Bringing electrical repair and reuse to younger Somerset audiences through apprenticeships and electrical skills training and increasing access to and engagement with electrical repair and reuse for those living in flatted properties are some of the activities being considered.

Julie Searle, Strategy Officer at Somerset Council, said: “Working in partnership was key to Fixy’s success, enabling us to share knowledge, tasks, networks, and resources to maximise our impact and reach. This shared approach helped us build robust routes to capture and measure impact, increase community repair group activity occurring across Somerset, and give us a range of wonderful stories to bring the tangible impacts of repair and reuse to life.”

Gareth Morton, Ecosurety’s Discovery Manager, said: “We are delighted to see the positive impact of the Fixy initiative, which is taking important steps towards making repair and reuse of electrical items more accessible and mainstream. We are proud to have supported the project through the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and we are pleased to see the release of its impact report, which highlights the significant progress made over the past year. We look forward to seeing Fixy continue to make a difference in Somerset and beyond.”

Ecosurety will join project partners Resource Futures and Somerset Council to share their learnings in a webinar – Making repair an everyday decision: learnings from the Fixy project – on Tuesday 16 May at 13:30pm. Sign up for your free place.

You can access the full 2022-23 Fixy impact report by clicking the image here:

Fixy Impact Report cover

Written by Louise Shellard Published 19/04/2023 Topics Ecosurety
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